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While most parents discourage smoking for their children, my teenage son and I enjoy comparing notes on cigars. He enjoyed your magazine more than I did because he loved the article on poker playing.
Keep up the good work--we both look forward to our next issue.
Jacqueline Parker
New York, New York

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Dear Marvin:
I know President Bill Clinton reads your magazine. I'm hopeful he'll give consideration to my request. Here is my letter:
Bill Clinton
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20335
Dear President Clinton:
I know my tax increase this year would be much more palatable if I could light up a Cuban Cohiba, Hoyo de Monterrey or Ramon Allones the night I sign my tax return.
The world has changed so much since President Kennedy initiated the trade embargo against Cuba. Considering who the United States has been willing to do business with, the trade embargo against Cuba sticks out like a discarded cigar butt at a tea party. It has no place in today's political or economic world. Besides, unlike President Kennedy, I was unable to stock up on my favorite Cuban cigars the night before the embargo went into effect.
You have presented us with a challenge and burden that, as good Americans, we will meet. Please help ease the pain of April 15, by making it possible for us to enjoy a good Cuban smoke.
Very truly yours,
E. Melville McKinney
Mendocino, California
[The above was sent to the White House, and then Mr. McKinney sent us a copy.]

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Dear Marvin:
I was at my girlfriend's house the other day, and I was amazed to find a copy of your fine magazine on her father's coffee table. Upon inquiring, I was told he did indeed enjoy smoking cigars and that he was given the magazine as a gift. Well, I just had to open it up and check it out.
The one thought your magazine left me with was, "Boy, are these people insensitive!" Why do you assume that all people should enjoy the odor of a smoke-filled room? Personally, I find the odor of cigar smoke disgusting. This is not to say that I think ALL people should find cigar smoke disgusting; it's my opinion. Regardless, I'm entitled to my opinion, and I'm also entitled to enjoy breathing air that has not been contaminated by cigar smoke.
Please have some consideration for those of us who don't smoke. As a college student, one who aspires to become financially successful in the future, I understand that many of your readers have worked very hard to attain the levels of success that they have and that cigar smoking may be one of the few pleasures that they allow themselves on a daily basis. I am asking you to understand that breathing clean air is something I enjoy and to please respect that right.
Jay Sandhaus
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona
Editor's Response: I, like all cigar smokers I know, refrain from smoking when it infringes on nonsmokers who object. However, too often, nonsmokers are too aggressive in denying me the right to enjoy a cigar when it is not an infringement, such as when I'm sitting on a park bench and they are walking by. I only wish nonsmokers were as courteous as we cigar smokers are. On a much more serious note, Jay, instead of writing to complain about "clean air" to a cigar lovers' magazine, why not write to the mayors of most cities in the United States? Have you ever driven behind a municipal bus? Every time a bus changes gears a huge black mass of smoke billows out of the tailpipe. One billow equals 10,000 cigars. Now think about how many times a bus changes gears as it drives down a main street? where the sidewalks are filled with people. And while you're at it, throw in a few trucks taxis and cars for added spice. Perhaps you are crusading against a small fish when there are whales swimming in your own back yard.

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Dear Marvin:
Today, with all of life's stresses, we all need a good friend. Besides my wife, my cigars fit that bill. They are cooperative, agreeable, don't talk back to me and offer a few moments of tranquility that seem to be very hard to find these days. Then, as I continue to enjoy one of my favorite Partagas No. 10s, I peruse your wonderful magazine, which has become my new friend. I do it over and over again in sheer delight. In effect, I have two friends during these moments of meditation and relaxation.
Michael D. Kaufman
New York, New York

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Dear Marvin:
While your readers, correspondents and advertisers seem to indicate that cigar smoking among women is becoming more and more acceptable, my experience refutes that claim. My former boyfriend introduced me to the pleasures of fine cigars seven years ago, and while the relationship with him ended not long thereafter, my relationship with cigars has continued to prosper. This, however, in spite of an unwillingness on my part to smoke them in public following too many stares, snickers and comments from those who found it strange for an attractive (I'm told) young woman to be seen puffing on a double corona. I now enjoy my indulgence in private or in the company of a few enlightened friends. Some men I've dated have been put off by my enjoyment of a good cigar after a fine meal and have never bothered to call again, but others have told me that they find it increases the attraction, so I guess there is some justice after all!
Janice MacDonald
Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Dear Marvin:
I have a story to tell you about my trials and tribulations of smoking a cigar in peace.
My wife and I have been going to a well-known hotel in Maryland for many years. We stay at the hotel three or four days of every month from March through November. Both my wife and I are great seafood lovers, and we go down to breathe the fresh air and eat the bountiful seafood from the Chesapeake Bay.
Last year we stayed at the hotel in March, April and May. In June, we again went to the hotel, checked in, went to our room and changed into swim attire. I arrived at the outdoor swimming pool, in God's own fresh air, and posted all around the pool were signs, "No Smoking." In all previous visits, there were no signs. So, as a person respective of nonsmokers' rights, I went to the person in charge of the outdoor pool and asked where I could smoke my cigar without offending anyone. This young lady's reply was, "No smoking allowed." I said, "This is outside in an open area, and there couldn't possibly be any laws prohibiting smoking." She said, "No smoking allowed."
William Mills Orlando, Florida, USA, June 13, 2013 7:37pm ET
Dear Marvin - Regarding the letter from Peter Worsham in the August issue, I lived in Havana from 1997 until 2000 as a member of the U.S. Interests Section. The GOOD cigars are indeed heavily controlled and expensive no matter where you buy them including Cuba. That said there was always counterfeit/seconds cigars to be had on the black market, but so easily available that the Cuban government had to be aware or complicit in their production and sale. In the end, although not top of the line cigars it was Cuban tobacco which I think is the best in the world.
Changing the subject, I just returned from a car trip to Eastern North Carolina and was surprised to see farm fields of growing tobacco. These same fields use to grow soy beans, cotton, and corn, while the owners were being paid NOT to grow tobacco. Can anyone tell me what has happened? Chinese demand? Domestic demand? Other?
Thanks for the fine magazine.

William Mills

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